The Hills Beckon Again – 5

I sleep on the couch by the window. It’s a huge window that overlooks the balcony which overlooks the hills and the valley. If you lie on the bed, the glass is close enough for you to touch, for you to be able to frost it with your breath, close enough so that you can feel the cold outside on one side, and the heat inside the room on the other side. It gives you a great view of the hillside and, if you strain your neck, or get up a little and peer from your perched position, you can also see the lake, far in the distance, green, sometimes silent and sometimes bubbling with the air from the air pumps which try to keep the water oxygenated for the fish to survive in the landlocked waters. At night it is beautiful view of the hillside with the lights from the houses twinkling in the distance. The hills themselves are nearly invisible, but one can see the reflection of the lights on the waters of the lake. It is a mesmerising sight…..

As I lie on the bed, trying to lull myself to sleep, trying to still my mind after my conversation with the hills, after the song which I heard, the song of the mountains, the movement activated light on the stairway leading up to the house goes on and off.

‘Who is it, Papa?’ Vandita asks, her curiosity pricked by the flickering light of the lamp which Asit has installed on the stairwell. Most of the lights outside, in the porch as well as in the garden which borders the balcony which I love so much, are solar powered, and some are motion activated. It is a smart move as it saves power and switches on the light when one needs it.

To quench Vandita’s curiosity, I crane my neck, getting up from the bed, and try to see what it is on the stairs which has activated the lights. I see a furry tail… is pointing up, towards the sky, and the tip wags…left and right…up and down. The fur is brown, streaked with white and black….it is a cat…a mountain cat looking for a shelter for the night.

As I watch, the cat settles down on one of the chairs parked in a shaded area of the porch, curls herself into a rotund ball of fur, and goes to sleep…..purring with satisfaction.

‘It is a cat’, I tell the children, and go back to my contemplation……

My lids are heavy with sleep, my limbs tired with the drive. I am drifting now, in and out of sleep, the tiredness starts to flow out of my limbs, my brain is in a daze, as I discern the far off sound of the wind rustling through the trees….it is a song few can hear, and fewer can appreciate… is my lullaby, my anodyne, my sign, the hills beckon me to sleep…..and I close my eyes, confident that the hills will wake me up when they deem it fit…..

Check out these Amazon bestsellers from the author –

The Battle of Panchavati and Other Stories from Indian Scriptures
Daffodils: A bouquet of short stories

By Divya Narain

Additional Professor in Plastic Surgery, doting father, loving husband, newbie author. Love travel and literature. Love reading religion, politics and history!

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